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How to disable a Win key shortcut on Windows 10

Windows 10 has global shortcuts. These global shortcuts work regardless which app you’re using and keyboards have a dedicated Windows key that you activate them with. For example, if you want to open the Run box, you use the Win + R keyboard shortcut, or if you want to use Windows search, you can use the Win+S keyboard. If the shortcuts aren’t useful or they open a feature you don’t use, you can disable them with a registry trick. This trick will disable a Win key shortcut only, and that too the one you select which means you have complete control over what works and what doesn’t.

You will need admin rights to edit the registry.

Disable Win key shortcut

Use the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box. In the run box, type ‘regedit’ and tap Enter to open the registry editor. Alternatively, you can search for ‘regedit’ in Windows search.

Once the registry editor is open, navigate to the following location;

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

Right-click the Advanced key and select New>Expandable String Value. Name this string value DisabledHotkeys. Now when it comes down to setting the value for it, it depends on the keyboard shortcut you want to disable. If you want to, for example, disable the Win+R keyboard shortcut, you will enter R in the value data box. If you want to disable the Win+S keyboard shortcut, you will enter S in the value data box.

If you want to disable more than one shortcut, for example, both the Run box and Windows Search shortcut, you will enter RS in the value data box.

Once you’ve set the value in the value data box, you need to restart File Explorer. To restart File Explorer, open Task Manager and on the Processes tab look for Windows Explorer. Select it, and click the Restart button at the bottom. When File Explorer restarts, the shortcuts will be disabled.

To enable them again, you can remove the letter that works with the shortcut from the registry value that you added and restart File Explorer.

Shortcuts that use other modifier keys e.g., the Ctrl or Alt keys are still going to work. This registry edit is only for disabling shortcuts that work with the Windows key on your keyboard. On Windows 10, you can also use gestures to access some features that have a Windows key shortcut associated with them and they will still work even if you disable the shortcut.

Need to view global shortcuts on Windows 10? There’s an AHK script that can scan for them.

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